Contract law is an agreement that is made between the two parties and is legally enforceable in the eyes of law. Contract law incorporates all the laws and regulations that are directed for achieving certain promises. Australian contract law is regulated by the common law and is regulated by the laws and legislations prevalent in the country (Carter and Harland, 2004). Consumer contract law, on the other hand, describes the terms and conditions that relates to the contract with the consumers for the supply of goods and services. In this context, the present report presents a marketing brochure of holiday package by Thomson Group on the basis of the terms and conditions of Australian contract law. Thus, the report, in this relation, presents an evaluation of the holiday brochure of Thomson Group under the legal aspects of contract law and consumer law of Australia. All the information related to package, services and all other aspects are evaluated as per the Australian contract law for identifying the misrepresentation of any information in the brochure of the company.
Thomson is one of the recognized holiday planner companies that provide holiday packages to the customers at reasonable price. The company believes in providing valuable and customize services to the customers and thus has develops a distinctive brand image in the minds of the customers (Thomson Group, n.d.). The company is believed to employ about 18,000 people and all the workforce of the company are dedicated to provide best services to the customers for making their holiday special and different. The holiday packages provided by the company are customized to achieve customer satisfaction and provide special packages to families, couples and individual persons as per their needs and requirements (Carter and Harland, 2004).
Holiday Brochure details of Thomson Group as per the Australian Contract Law
The brochure incorporates the information regarding the type of holiday services given by the company. The details given in the brochure relates to the information regarding the country to which the company plans holidays for its customers. In addition to this, all the information for the days for which the trip is planned is also provided in detail in brochure (Thomson Group, n.d.). The holiday package in this brochure is trip to Spain, Portugal and Cape Verde for about 25 days. The customers, in this context, are provided complete information to be reviewed for planning their holiday vacations for a trip to the destinations mentioned in the brochure.
The company must also enclose the information relating to secure funding, placement, maps and layout, inclusions and exclusions of the trip, disclaimer of the company and the reliabilities, the liability of the company, Image selection, the promotional copy, details of the itinerary and other extra benefits that the company is providing to the customers. These all the information are compulsory for the holiday planner companies to provide to the customers in the brochure. Thus, it is necessary for the holiday companies to disclose all the information and not hide any relevant facts with the customers as per the Australian Contract Law. Australian Contract law governs and regulates all the contracts that deal with the exchange of goods and services. Thus, holiday companies are entitled to provide their services as per the rules and regulations of contract law, consumer law and protection law (Corones, 2011).
Contract law provides a framework for regulating the enforceability of promises and also includes freedom o contract, agency relationship and limitation of actions. Australian Contact law is based on common law and is derived from the decisions of the court. Consumers have access to extra legal protection in Australia and consumer law in some cases is given importance over the contract law. In addition to this, Australia have adopted and implemented an Australian Consumer Law (ACL) in all forms of contract for protecting the rights of the consumers. The act is adopted by all the states and territories of Australia. Australian Consumer Law describes the unfair contract terms and deceptive or misleading conduct (Latimer, 2012).
Major details of the Brochure
The main information that is provided in the holiday brochure can be described as follows:
• Duration of the trip: 25 days and 24 nights.
• Destination: Trip to Spain, Portugal and Cape Verde
• Travel inclusions: Air and road Transport facilities within the trip.
• Travel dates: 1st December to 25 December.
All the information provided in the brochure is subjected to be fulfilled on completion of all the terms and conditions of the contract. All the information included in the package is dully verified and checked as per the contract law (Latimer, 2012).
The travel and the itinerary
• 1st to 5th December – Balearics (Ibiza, Menorca and Majorca)
• 6th to 10th December – Canaries (Side, Alanya, Manavgat, Belek, Lara Beach, Lara, Kemer)
• 11th to 16 December – Mainland Spain (Altinkum, Bodrum, Turgutreis, Gundogan, Gumbet, Bitez)
• 17th to 20th December – Portugal (Kusadasi)
• 21th to 25th December– Cape Verde Islands (Sunny Beach, Obzor Beach)
Thus, all the customers who are buying this holiday package will visit all the destinations mentioned above within the duration of 25 days. Holiday brochure given by Thomson Group to the customers also encloses complete detail regarding the entire holiday package on different pages (Review of Australian Contract Law, 2012).The brochure contains the description of each destination in order to give customers an overview regarding the type of place they will be visiting during their holiday trip. In addition to this, complete detail regarding the accommodation facilities and other services provided by the company during the trip is also provided in detail in the brochure. Thus, the brochure reveals all the terms and conditions of the trip so that customers can make decisions whether they want to enter a contract with a company as per the terms and conditions of the contract law (Review of Australian Contract Law, 2012).
The company has also provided details regarding the type of plan the hotel will be offering to the customers. The hotel includes a Continental plan (CP), European Plan (EP) or Modified American Plan (MAP) for the customers in the hotel where they will be accommodated. Continental plan states that breakfast is included in the plan, European plan means that the plan provides only the accommodation facilities and MAP plan means that breakfast, lunch and dinner all are included n the plan in addition with the accommodation facilities provided by the company (Bonell, 2009). The company provides by default continental plan to the customers but the customers can choose their plan as per their needs and requirements. All the information regarding the extra charges that the customers have to pay in selecting an additional plan is also provided in the holiday brochure of the company (Bonell, 2009).
Complete details regarding the type of transport facilities that is provided in the trip is also included in the brochure. This includes information regarding whether the transport will be provided by the car or Volvo or by air. In addition to this, the time taken in traveling from one place to another and the distance covered is also provided in detail in the company brochure. Also, the monuments and historical places planned to be visited during the trip is mentioned clearly in the brochure. Brochure, in this relation, also mentions that travel agency is the subcontractor for transporting customers and their luggage from one place to another. All the details of the contract made between the Thomson and the travel agent is mentioned in the brochure. Moreover, the details like dates of journey, places to be visited during the trip i.e. inclusions and exclusions, mode of travel, room plans, hotel details and the overall itineraray are also provided in the brochure (Review of Australian Contract Law, 2012).
Analysis of the holiday package as per the contract Law
Australian contract law is based on the ‘common law’ and the major principles of the contract law can be stated as follows:
• Agreement: Agreement defines in the common law that an offer from one person to another should be accepted by another person.
• Consideration: Consideration refers to the value of contract and can be monetary or non-monetary. Consideration must be clearly stated in the contract and should be mainly in terms of monetary benefits. In addition to this, it should be clearly defined in the contract that consideration is given from which party to other in the contract.
• Intention: Intention refers to the purpose or need of the two parties for entering into contract with each other. However, parties that have once made an contract with each other are bind to the contract through legal rules.
• Capacity: Contract law also defines the capacity of one person for entering into contract in terms of age, mind and capability. Principal parties entering into contract must have legal capacity and proper understanding of contract.
• Consent: Parties also must be willing to enter into contract with each other i.e. contract should be made with the consent of both the parties. Both the parties should enter into contract with each other willingly and should not be enforced to enter into the contract. Thus, the major parts of this principle are undue influence, misrepresentations of facts and mistakes etc.
• Legality: Goods and services of the contract must be legal in the eyes of law. Contract should not enclose any false promises or illegal acts.
Thus, the details given in the holiday brochure can be analyzed on the principles of Australian Contract Law can be stated as follows:
• Complete detail regarding the places to be visited during the trip is provided in the brochure
• Images of all the places are also clearly mentioned in the holiday brochure.
• Method of payment and other finance related activities is also clearly stated to the customers.
• All the relevant charges for services provided by the holiday company are provided to the customers in detail.
• All the details of the offers and gifts is provided to the customer in the holiday brochure of the company.
• All the inclusions and exclusions are clearly defined in the brochure.
• Liability and responsibility of the company is also mentioned in the holiday brochure.
Thus, all the details provided by the company in the brochure must be completely fulfilled on entering into a contract of holiday package with the customers. The company is bound to provide all the services at the same price as mentioned in the brochure on entering into a contract. The company on entering into a contract by signing an application form with the customers to provide applicable services to the customers. Both the parties on signing the contract are bound to each other for carrying out the contact (Latimer, 2012).This is regarded as valid agreement between both the parties and they cannot deny the facts and are bound to fulfill the terms and condition of the contract. Thomson Group is bound to provide all the services that are mentioned in the brochure and customers are bound to pay the charges that are mentioned in the brochure.
The company should also collect the passport and other identification details of the customers that have applied for the holiday package. In addition to this, the company has also stated in its disclaimer that all the customers are responsible for their own safety and thus they should take proper precautions during the travel. However, the company has stated in its brochure will take the full responsibility of any mis-happening that occur during the trip. Thus, this implies that any personal harm or damage caused to customers due to theft etc is not covered in the terms of contract (Cartwright, 2014).
Thus, on analysis and examination of the information that is described in the brochure it can be said that there is no misrepresentation of facts or false information given in the brochure. However, some information that was found to be misleading can be stated as follows:
• The images of the destination are edited to make it more attractive for the customers.
• Company has stated in the brochure that a gift would be given by the company to one lucky customer which is wrong practice to be inculcated for attracting the customers for taking the holiday package.
• Some information is concealed or is nor properly disclosed to the customers and is referred that the information will be provided to the customers after entering into contract.
• The company has provided all the information atht makes it attractive for the customers to buy the package and thus used false advertising practices for luring the customers.
Thomson Group in its holiday package has excluded certain services that are not provided to the customers during the trip. The main exclusions include expenditure involved in causing damage to the hotel during stay, transfer charges to the entertainment places during the leisure time etc. All the expenditures will be charged separately from the customers and is not likely to be bearable by the company (Gillies, 2004). The company is limited to provide the expenses that are covered in the holiday package and any personal expenditure of the customers is not likely to be bearable by the company at any cost. Thomson has clearly stated all inclusions and exclusions clearly in the brochure so atht customers cannot claim on their part any misrepresentation of information. Thus, all the inclusions and exclusions are necessary to be disclosed by the company in accordance with the contract law. Thomson Group, in accordance with the contract law, has clearly defined that all the expenses that are mentioned in the exclusions are not likely to be payable by the company (Gillies, 2004).
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Carter, V. and Harland, M. 2004. Contract Law in Australia. Butterworths Lexis Nexis.
Cartwright, J. 2014. Contract Law: An Introduction to the English Law of Contract for the Civil Lawyer. A&C Black.
Corones, S.G. 2011. The Australian Consumer Law. Thomson Reuters.
Gillies, P. 2004. Business Law. Federation Press.
Latimer, P. 2012. Australian Business Law 2012. CCH Australia Limited.
Review of Australian Contract Law. 2012. Online]. Available at: https://www.ag.gov.au/consultations/pages/ReviewofAustraliancontractlaw.aspx [Accessed on: 13 November 2014].
Thomson Group. n.d. [Online]. Available at: https://www.thomson.co.uk/editorial/features/brochures.html [Accessed on: 13 November 2014].
Thomson Group. n.d. [Online]. Available at: https://thomson.inbro.net/seeinsidebrochure/Thomson_Spain-and-Portugal-November-2014-…-October-2015:-July-Edition/INTRODUCING-THOMSON/Front-Cover/page_1 [Accessed on: 13 November 2014].